Circles of Confusion

You had this talent for hanging photos. I never saw you in action, never heard nails being tapped into walls. However, I would walk through the living room after you’d been in action. Photos fit perfect, complimenting angles and textures of wood. I didn’t tell you how it felt to see us fit together so well.

I had briefly studied photography in school, getting scientific even, learning equations and looking for depth of field. But you were the photographer. You had a camera with you, always. Sometimes I would smile but usually I’d act distracted. For instance at a restaurant, I would become preoccupied with the service while you snapped a photo. Or I would light a cigarette while you told me to say cheese.

But the photo on the shore of Oregon was different. It hung in the same plastic frame near the front door from the beginning. You had a flower top bikini and I was unabashedly shirtless. Wind twisted our hair and waves crashed well past us. An observer of the photo once told me our aura could be seen, it was beautiful. I explained it was no aura; it was an optical illusion, a product of light and lens.

The last time I saw that photo I made sure to make note of it, to make a picture of a picture. The house was empty and there was just enough light to make out the image. I knew I’d never step foot in that house again, never shut the door that always slammed and I’d never again look back to make sure the picture didn’t fall. It was on that night, on the way out, I realized the photo was a record of something. You and I. There was no mystery, no circle of confusion, it was We. I could never place myself there again. I could only look and imagine, imagine if you had plans, if you knew where the photo would hang.

Circles of Confusion


Salt Lake City, United States

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Artwork Comments

  • jcmontgomery
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